Blue Oyster Mushrooms
Blue oyster (Pleurotus Ostreatus) mushrooms are a gourmet species that is found growing on hardwood trees in temperate forests across the world. These exotic mushrooms grow on hardwood trees like maple and oak and have deep blue to blue grey caps up to 6" in diameter. Originally used as a food source and for medicinal purposes in China and Southeast Asia, oyster mushrooms are now not only foraged but are grown commercially. Most commercially grown oyster mushrooms are grown in China however there is an increasing number of small scale mushroom farmers in the United States. With the increased demand from consumers for local healthy food, gourmet mushrooms are fulfilling that demand.
Oyster mushrooms have a mild nutty, earthy flavor with with a meaty texture and are quite versatile in terms of their ability to be prepared as a stand alone dish, meat substitute or as an addition to soup, pasta or Asian cuisine. From a simple sautee (olive oil, butter, fresh garlic, and onions) to Asian dishes such as stir fry or Malaysian spiced noodles, oyster mushrooms provide a nearly limitless amount of culinary options.
Oyster mushrooms are low calorie, low fat, high in fiber and high in protein. They contain high amounts of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, thiamin, folate and pantothenic acid. They are a great natural source of minerals such as phosphorous, potassium, copper, iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium and selenium. More health benefits:
Anti-inflammatory - Oyster mushrooms have been shown to reduce both acute and chronic inflammation.
Anti-carcinogenic - Oyster mushrooms contain compounds known as polysaccharides. Research has demonstrated the ability of polysaccharides to shrink tumors and combat various types of cancer. One polysaccharide found in oyster mushrooms is pleuran. Pleuran found in these mushrooms has shown anti-neoplastic properties against colorectal, prostate and breast cancer cells.
Immune system booster - Oyster mushrooms contain beta-glucans which boosts and strengthen the immune system.
Anti-microbial and anti viral - Compounds found in oyster mushrooms are shown to work effectively against E. Coli. And Staph. infections.
Lower blood sugar - Through it's relatively high fiber content and a substance known as guanide oyster mushrooms have the potential to help lower blood sugar levels naturally.
Lower cholesterol - Oyster mushrooms contain a substance called beta-glucan which boosts heart health and lowers cholesterol.
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